2015 marked not only the 55th Anniversary for Grand Seiko, but also the 5 year anniversary of the introduction of the 9S65 caliber. The advantage of the 9S65 as compared to the previous 9S5 series was the use of Spron 610 for the hairspring. They also had a 72 hour power reserve (which was originally introduced in the 9S67 in 2006), due to their in-house manufactured mainspring, Spron 510. Today we introduce you to a model that commemorates both anniversaries... The SBGR097.
The SBGR097 is the first of the new and modern sized 42mm Grand Seiko automatics. These models use a variant on the 9S65 caliber, labeled the 9S61 which has no date. The no date feature is an excellent compliment to Grand Seiko as GS is all about accuracy and the lack of date makes for little to no adjustments necessary.
The dial of the SBGR097 is embedded with small GS logos as we have seen on several models in the past. The small square panels to this piece are unique, but the concept is the same. The color of the dial varies quite a bit with light, as you will notice with most GS dials, but with direct light ends up a bright and vibrant blue as seen in the pictures above. In darker settings, it is difficult to even tell it is blue, as you will notice in one of the images below.
The case back on this model will be open to view the 9S61 caliber. These movements are made at Shizukuishi watch studio in Morioka, Japan as all purely mechanical GS movements.
The case size is to be 42mm, which is large for a Grand Seiko mechanical, typically only ranging from 37mm to just a hair under 40mm. While 42mm is not huge, it is a bigger Grand Seiko which will have appeal for many markets, especially here in the USA. Of course, they will not leave out the sub 40mm case sizes, but this along with the new SBGR099 and SBGR101 will leave more options open for customers.
The bezel and case sides of the SBGR097 will be finished in the Zaratsu, or blade, mirror polishing technique. The lugs and bracelet will have have a brushed finish, creating a slightly sportier look. Only 500 pieces will be made for the world.